The Brexit holiday bookings impasse: in or out?By Monica Kumari
“From the early part of 2019, many travel companies have reported bookings slower than normal. In addition, there was a lot of advertising at the turn of the year, so the cost of acquiring each booking was high. This adds up to quite a tough period.” - BVA BDRC's Holiday Trends 2019 report.
Despite negative noises in the industry, Holiday Trends 2019 suggests consumers are as optimistic as ever about taking holidays at home and abroad. Holidays are extremely important to Britons: our research shows that in the face of financial struggles, 90% would rather adjust their plans than have no holiday at all.
However, something is clearly slowing down bookings, and our report suggests Brexit is a key factor. We’ve tested people’s thoughts around Brexit for three years, and this year concerns have increased significantly (see our interactive dashboard below).
Brexit no longer just means Brexit for Britons. Half assume that travel visas will be introduced. 1 in 10 stated that an €8 visa charge would make them less likely to holiday in the EU. Britons also have concerns that Brexit will lead to longer airport queues and an increase in the cost of air travel. Whilst none of these elements in isolation are likely to be the main reason to stay at home, cumulatively they will make travel to the EU a less attractive option.
Britons’ combination of optimism and concern may well be driving booking paralysis. With Brexit delayed beyond the summer we may yet see a surge in last-minute bookings. The picture of course, is not that clear.
But one thing that is clear is that holiday-makers, like business owners, need certainty when booking their trips. The sooner Brexit is sorted, the sooner bookings will get back to normal.
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